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5 Common Kitchen Cabinet & Cabinet Door Materials You Must Know

May 10, 2023
5 Common Kitchen Cabinet & Cabinet Door Materials You Must Know

Kitchen renovation is always exciting. Working with a designer on the new kitchen layout, choosing new cabinets or cabinet doors, and matching them with new countertops, lighting and appliances, is definitely a rewarding endeavor. On the flip side, the sheer number of choices can be daunting, such as choosing the materials for your future cabinets and cabinet doors. To help you out, we will cover the 5 most common kitchen cabinet and cabinet door materials, their application and their approximate cost. 


What are the most common materials used in kitchen cabinet making?

Trusting a designer with a new kitchen project is a good idea. However, taking the time to research and educate yourself on the various kitchen cabinet and door materials will help you understand what options are more suitable for your specific circumstances. So, let’s get started. 


Solid wood

Solid wood is a traditional choice for kitchen cabinets. It is known for its durability and long lifespan. A kitchen made of solid wood can serve you for years. Solid wood is also an environment-friendly material if sourced properly. However, wooden kitchens can be pretty costly. Another drawback of solid wood panels is their porosity. The porous nature of solid wood makes it highly susceptible to moisture and stains, meaning you’ll have to clean up spills as soon as possible to avoid the material rotting or warping. 



Durability and affordability make MDF the second most popular material used in kitchen cabinet manufacturing. MDF (or medium-density fiberboard) is essentially an engineered panel produced from wood fibres combined with a wax and/or resin binder and pressure-formed into the desired shape. MDF panels are denser than hardwood and provide a smooth finish which is difficult to achieve with solid wood materials. IKEA cabinet doors in Canada are mostly made of medium-density fiberboard. MDF is a great alternative over solid wood for a high-moisture area like the kitchen for its mould- and water-resistance properties. So if you are looking for an affordable solution that can withstand frequent exposure to water, MDF cabinet doors and cabinets are the way to go. 


High-density fiberboard

High-density fiberboard (or HDF) is another popular material used in kitchen cabinet making. It is known to be denser and more affordable than hardwood. HDF material is great for use in both humid and dry areas. However, just like wood, it is prone to water damage, so you will have to wipe all cups, dishes and cutlery dry before putting them in an HDF cabinet.


Stainless steel

Stainless steel cabinets are not something you will find in an average residential kitchen, but rather in a commercial one. Bakeries, patisseries and restaurants will install stainless steel cabinets and countertops for reasons such as durability, ease of cleaning and long service life. Stainless steel kitchens are built to withstand excessive wear and tear which makes them an ideal choice for commercial kitchens. If you are hesitant about going entirely stainless steel in your kitchen, but you still want the benefit of durability, opt for stainless steel in a kitchen island or get by with a stainless steel backsplash.



Particleboard is probably the least expensive material you can find on the market. Made from wood chips, they are mistakenly confused with MDF and HDF panels. The manufacturing process indeed has some similarities. However, particleboard panels are not as strong and dense as MDF and HDF panels and can easily bend under the weight. Particleboard cabinets can easily crumble, so screwing anything in can be attempted only once, or else the material will fall apart. All in all, try to stay away from particleboard kitchen cabinets, even if your budget is really tight. Consider a more durable option like MDF or HDF panels instead, even if it’s more expensive.


The takeaways

Choosing the best materials for kitchen cabinets shouldn’t be limited to visual considerations only. Ultimately, the purpose of your kitchen renovation project is not just to get newer-looking cabinets and countertops, but to get a kitchen that is more functional and long-lasting. Take some time to learn about different materials used in making kitchen cabinets, consider the cost, see which option can serve your purposes better and then make a decision.

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